We're working on a new site. Click here to get a sneak preview.


adjective rug·ged \ˈrə-gəd\

: having a rough, uneven surface

of a man's face : having rough but attractive features

: strong and determined

Full Definition of RUGGED

obsolete :  shaggy, hairy
:  having a rough uneven surface :  jagged <rugged mountains>
:  turbulent, stormy <rugged weather>
a :  seamed with wrinkles and furrows :  weathered —used of a human face
b :  showing facial signs of strength <rugged good looks>
a :  austere, stern
b :  coarse, rude
c :  rough and strong in character
a :  presenting a severe test of ability, stamina, or resolution
b :  strongly built or constituted :  robust <those that survive are stalwart, rugged men — L. D. Stamp>
rug·ged·ly adverb
rug·ged·ness noun

Examples of RUGGED

  1. the rugged surface of the moon
  2. She did a painting of the region's rugged coastline.
  3. People are attracted to his rugged good looks.
  4. I admire her rugged individualism.

Origin of RUGGED

Middle English, from Middle English *rug
First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of RUGGED

rough, harsh, uneven, rugged, scabrous mean not smooth or even. rough implies points, bristles, ridges, or projections on the surface <a rough wooden board>. harsh implies a surface or texture distinctly unpleasant to the touch <a harsh fabric that chafes the skin>. uneven implies a lack of uniformity in height, breadth, or quality <an old house with uneven floors>. rugged implies irregularity or roughness of land surface and connotes difficulty of travel <a rugged landscape>. scabrous implies scaliness or prickliness of surface <a scabrous leaf>.
RUGGEDNESS Defined for Kids


adjective rug·ged \ˈrə-gəd\

Definition of RUGGED for Kids

:  having a rough uneven surface <rugged hills>
:  strong 3, tough <rugged pioneers>
:  involving hardship <rugged training>
rug·ged·ly adverb
rug·ged·ness noun


Next Word in the Dictionary: rugged individualismPrevious Word in the Dictionary: ruggAll Words Near: rugged
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears